Fall/Winter Favorite- Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

You know the cold weather has arrived if I bust out the crock pot! This soup recipe (much altered of course, as you know I can't just leave it as is!!) was given to me a few years ago by a friend. I immediately went to the drawing board to suit our household's tastes. We aren't big pasta eaters in this house- it's not that I don't like it, I do, but I try not to eat it very often. We are big on beans and potatoes in this house so I took the original recipe and swapped out the pasta for beans and potato. 

Hang onto your hats, this non-traditional take on Minestrone will have you going out into a brisk breeze just for the excuse of coming back inside for hot soup!!

What you will need:

1 lb. Baby Gold Potato (this can be any kind really, we just like these for roasting so I have then on hand) dice these babies and boil them for about 10-15 mins to get a jump start on cooking them.
1- can kidney beans, rinsed
4- stalks of celery sliced
3- peeled and chopped medium to large sized carrots
1- small onion
2- large cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1- 20-oz can of diced tomatoes
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce (for a thicker stew like soup substitute tomato paste for the tomato sauce)
3- 14 oz containers of Broth (I used vegetable broth but you may use chicken if not vegetarian)
1- tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste

(optional- I like to add swiss chard to mine occasionally)

What you do:

1. Throw diced potatoes into boiling water and boil for about 15 mins. You just want to begin cooking them. I have found when I throw the potatoes in raw it takes forever to cook through. If you are starting the crock pot in the morning and planning on letting it sit for 8+ hours skip this step and add the potatoes in raw.

2. In a saucepan heat 1 TBSP olive oil over med. heat for 1 min. Add onion and celery, cover with a lid and stir frequently for 3 mins. 
3. Add carrots and garlic. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

4. In crock pot add can of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, veggie (or chicken) broth, oregano, thyme, basil, salt & pepper to taste.

Put crock pot on low and let simmer all day if you have the time or if you are in a hurry like I usually am, put on high and let simmer for about 4 hours (this is why the partially cooked potatoes are so important)

Nothing like eating homemade soup!! Add some bread or parmesan or just eat it alone! 
You're set with leftover goodness for a week!


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